YOKOHAMA: Pakistan is looking at greater financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said the country’s finance minister, as it hopes to achieve 7% economic growth by fiscal year 2018-19.
Annual allocation for Pakistan, under the ADB’s infrastructural financing package, is currently $2 billion a year, which Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said was requested to be enhanced, keeping in view the country’s increasing needs.
“I have asked them to reconsider the package, keeping in view the infrastructure needs of the country,” Dar told The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the ADB Board’s 50th Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Japan. “This will significantly help boost the country’s gross domestic product and help us achieve our FY19 target of 7%.”
Dar said he had convinced ADB officials to increase Pakistan’s annual allotment to $2 billion last year in Frankfurt, and voiced confidence that the package would be enhanced by another $500 million.
“There have been several productive meetings with ADB President Takehiko Nakao, and Pakistan’s annual fund allowance could increase to $2.5 billion.”
The finance minister revealed that he will be engaging in several meetings for the next three days and these will mostly be of bilateral and multilateral nature.
“Pakistan’s association with the ADB has been a fruitful one and it will continue to bear benefits for the country in light of its big plans for our infrastructural growth.”
Dar also revealed he will be meeting the finance ministers of Maldives, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“In terms of multilateral meetings the Pakistan team will be sitting down with representatives from the ADB, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).”
In a bid to prepare for contingencies, Dar said that the ADB had committed $1.2 billion to the National Disaster Risk Management Fund, out of which $200 million had already been awarded.